September 13, 2021
Mary Charles Blair
Psalm 73:21-28 (AMP)21 When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within [as with the fang of an adder],
22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to honor and glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven [but You]?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the rock and strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful and have abandoned You.
28 But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,
That I may tell of all Your works.
“A Season of Trials and Open Doors”We have been and still are in a season of trials – personal, national, worldwide.
June 1990 through June 1991 – I hope to never live in a season of trials like that again.
- June 1990. I went back to college to obtain a degree in Secondary Education, Math. That summer I took 21 hours; I brought that trial upon myself.
- August 1990. Our oldest son came home from his Army Reserve Drill and told us that they would probably be deployed for Desert Storm.
- November 1990. The 844th Combat Engineers were deployed to Saudi Arabia.
- January 1991. My father, who lived in Alabama, was diagnosed with lung cancer. My mother had significant dementia. I am an only child living in Tennessee.
- February 1991. On a cold, rainy day, as I drove to Fort Payne for my father’s surgery, I was feeling very much like verse 21, ”my heart was grieved and I was pricked in my heart (as with the fang of an adder).” My husband had stayed in Cleveland with our youngest son, who was a Junior and in the middle of wrestling season. Verse 25 says, ”Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth beside you.” As I drove down I-59, I prayed this very simple prayer, “Father, I have no idea what I am about to face. I need Open Doors.” After Daddy’s surgery I was told that he would need round-the-clock sitters. I could not leave my mother alone. Then two ladies came into the room. They were customers of my father’s Drug Store. “We heard that you needed sitters. Your Dad has always taken good care of us. We would love to sit with Mr. Irby C.” Open Door.
- January 1991. I was told that my parents would have to go into Assisted Living when Daddy left the hospital. I called to inquire about a room, and the facility “just happened” to have a room become available across from the Nurses Station. Open Door.
- May - June 1991. Daddy passed away in May, but two weeks before he died our son was able to place a call to him from Saudi Arabia. My Dad had been a Marine in the Pacific Theater during WWII. With great pride he told everyone that his grandson had called him from “The War.” Our son returned from Desert Storm in June on Father’s Day. Big Open Door!
On that cold rainy day driving down I-59, that very simple prayer and the Open Doors that followed confirmed my faith, as found in verse 26, “God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever.” That prayer gave me this story to share with you today.